I dare you to go to a local supermarket or get a haircut at a beauty salon and ask someone if they know about Net Neutrality. I guarantee you are going to find at least one person who doesn’t even realize how much Net Neutrality is part of their lives.
Net Neutrality is the idea that we can communicate freely online, do research and get access to everything that is available on the internet. But the the Federal Communications Commission wants to changed the laws of Net Neutrality to allow broadband companies to control what American’s can see online. Some companies might see it as a way to promote themselves and their services but in reality this is removing freedom of speech. “Without net neutrality, the next Google or Facebook will never get off the ground.”(SaveTheInternet)
All internet providers should treat everything you do on the internet the same. Providers shouldn’t restrict what you can or cannot access online. Maybe it doesn’t sound like a big deal because you have access to a bunch of stuff already. But with the end of net neutrality, instead of you having access to a free and open internet, internet providers will decide what you have access to. Imagine that Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix are your favorite websites but the provider will only offer you a bundle with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Net neutrality is important because it helps to prevent internet providers from charging extra to companies who want to stream high definition content. (NY Times)
Imagine not being able to use all the features on Facebook because an internet provider decides to restrict those. Imagine being charged extra on internet just because you want to watch movies on Netflix but Netflix is not part of the internet bundle you are paying for.
Wait a second, what does this mean for small businesses? Don’t worry. It will be ok. You can still check on updates of the local supermarket on Facebook and access the new discounts on the Twitter of the local beauty salon. Small businesses would have to pay a premium service to target their audience which many cannot afford. You want to be recognized? Pay to be seen. Basically. (Forbes)
Using merely a website to promote your business is something of the past. You need all types of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and MySpace (if you’re still into that). The best thing is that a graphic designer from Sweden could be familiar with the work of a tattoo shop in the United States. It’s not only about promoting businesses but it’s about creating a community of passionate people around the world and in your hometown. With the end of net neutrality, people’s internet would be too slow and you would have limited data to see your content. (Entrepreneur).
We can survive this but small businesses need to stick together. Let’s be informed together. The big companies have money to promote themselves. We need help. We need each other. It could all change overnight. Let’s take advantage that Net Neutrality is still here and voice our opinion on how Net Neutrality could affect your business.